Over two thirds of building companies in Britain have had to turn down work because there is a huge shortage of skilled trade people, a survey conducted by the federation of Master Builders has found.

Britain faces a shortage of tens of thousands painters and decorators, which is having a knock on effect on George Osbourne’s plan on building one million new homes over the next 5 years. A report from KPMG an accountancy firm highlighted that there is a deficit of 33,000 painters and decorators in the London and South East Area alone.

It has come to light that during the recent recession here in the UK, house building projects dropped by nearly a half, meaning that many skilled tradespeople left their industry to either train in a different skill or simply retired. Britain is slowly recovering from the recent economic downfall and demand for new housing on the rise, there is a significant lack of skilled tradespeople to complete jobs as companies cannot start new projects if they don’t have the labour available. The painting and decorating industry is currently recruiting heavily to ensure that companies can meet the growing demand and meet the planned increases in housing supply. This means that there has not been a better time to train or re-train as a Painter or decorator. 

It has been reported that young people are not training to become skilled tradespeople because they believe that the work does not pay well enough. However, due to the skills shortage, current skill traders are bumping up their prices to deal with growing demand.  A painter and decorator can be expecting to earn on average £23,000pa, bricklayers and plumbers can be expecting to earn £25,000 - £52,000. This is well above the current national average. 

The painting and decorating trade is not the only trade affected by shortage. Britain currently has a well-documented skills shortage, falling short with Plumbing, Electrical and gas engineers.  A spokesperson from the home builder’s federation stated that the shortage was “the biggest issue currently facing house builders”

Here at Access Training we offer a large range of courses which provide our students with the foundations to build a truly lucrative career. Whether you are looking to begin a new career in the New Year or currently working in the industry and are looking to build on your current skill set we are confident that we have the ideal course for you. 

We offer painting and decorating courses that are open to candidates of all skill sets and provide an in-depth introduction to a range of painting and decorating techniques, designed with beginners in mind our course will qualify you to seek paid work after course completion. 

At Access Training we don't only offer painting and decorating City & Guilds courses. We also offer a large range of Plumbing courses, Electrical courses and Gas Engineer courses all designer for people who have no experience or who are looking change their career in 2016 or to build on their current skill sets. 

If you would like more information regarding our range of courses you can contact us here or call us on 0800 345 7492 to discuss your training options. 

It seems like almost every day we're posting about the ongoing construction boom and just how much its going to benefit new construction trainees, but the industry really is on the rise and the good news just keeps on coming!

Now the latest CITB Construction Skills Network forecast is estimating that the industry is set to see 182,000 new jobs created over the next five years. This rapidly recovering market is led by increased housing demand, with skill shortages predicted across several occupations. In addition to this, planned new nuclear builds will also result in an increased demand for scaffolders over a period of at least four years.

Over the next five years, this is how construction performance in the UK is expected to look:

  • The South West, Wales and East Anglia will benefit to perform the strongest, at +3.5%, +3.4% and 3% respectively - all above the national average of 2.2%.
  • Other areas will feel the effects much more slowly, but the North West (+1.3%), East Midlands (1.1%) and West Midlands (+0.8%) are all still set to improve.
  • Employment growth is a lot more mixed. Some areas are set to see a notable growth (East Anglia is expected to increase by an average of 2% a year), while others may see a reduction (the West Midlands at 0.2%)
  • Private housing will be the main drive for the growth, with the sub-sector rising by around 7% in 2014, with a further 5% the following year. From then on, its expected to grow by 4.6% a year until 2018.
  • Infrastructure is set to have the second largest annual growth, at 3.6%, followed by industrial (3%) and public housing (2.2%)

CITB chairman James Wates commented that the report showed that the economy is "turning the corner" and that the construction industry is benefitting from that. However he also stated: "Growth needs to be sustainable; underpinned by long-term infrastructure projects and continued investment. Employment in 2018 is predicted to be 196,000 below pre-recession levels, which is why measures must be taken now to ensure growth is sustained over the long-term."

Do you need any further proof that now is the time to take up a trades training course and enter the construction industry? Over the next few years there is going to be increasing demand for bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, tilers and painters/decorators. All of these professions are needed in order to meet the rising housing quota, and entering the industry as a qualified professional has never been easier. Access Training Academies offer quality, accredited courses in all of these trades at our state-of-the-art training centre just outside Cardiff city centre. Here you'll learn from our experienced tutors in classes no larger than eight students, permitting to work closely alongside your tutor. After learning the skills required to be a professional tradesperson, you'll be able to undertake the tests required to earn your qualifications right here at the centre. From there the construction world is your oyster - you can go and find employment in a larger company, or alternatively take the steps to set up your own business.

The best part is, these intensive courses will get you fully trained in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the few years it will take with a college course. That may sound like you're getting much less out of it, but our City & Guilds accreditation is a sure symbol that we don't skimp on any of the quality. To find out more about our range of course please fill in the online form found on this website or give us a call on 0800 345 7492. From there one of our course advisors will be happy to answer any outstanding questions you may have.

The construction boom is here, don't miss out!

While there will always be a demand for qualified tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers and gas engineers, setting yourself apart from the other tradesmen in your local area is an important factor is getting your name out there among potential clients. And the best way to do this is to consider qualifying in more than one skill. Commonly gas engineer training goes hand in hand with plumbing qualifications, but there are far more potential combinations that could benefit your future career.

For example, if a plumber were to undertake electrical training it would open up a variety of new work for them that they wouldn’t be able to complete otherwise without a second tradesman. They would be able to properly install power showers, and by achieving a Part P qualification would also be permitted to sign off the work themselves once they had joined a relevant Competent Person Scheme.

In turn, if an electrician had plastering qualifications, they could provide a fresh finish to a wall surface after tearing it apart to complete an installation. The same applies for combining plastering, tiling and/or carpentry courses. You’ll be increasing both your eternal potential and boost your chance of success when starting up your own business.

Take note though, it’s vital that you train properly for your second skill just as you did the first. A plumber should not be attempting any electrical work without the proper electrical qualifications and the same goes for any other potential trades. Not only would you be putting yourself at risk, but your customer as well. By training properly, you’ll be able to do the job properly and known as a tradesman capable and competent enough to get the job done on their own.

If you would like to find out more about the multi-skills training routes available to you, give Access Training a call on 0800 345 7492 and our team will be happy to tell you more.

Following on from part 1 we will now look at what training courses are available to you, as well as factors such as their cost and duration.

At Access Training we deliver many construction courses, including;

 

Each course can vary from a one week taster course to a total of eight weeks, depending on the outcome you wish to achieve. The one week taster course will give you a good insight to your chosen trade, basic use of tools and basic techniques. Then there are two and three week courses which obviously involve a more in depth look at the particular trade. Each of these courses can give you a recognised qualification from City & Guilds.

The eight week course will give you a CAA Level 2 (Construction Awards Alliance) and potentially a NVQ diploma, both of which are again highly regarded and recognised C&G qualifications. The cost of each course varies, so I suggest you contact Access Training Wales and speak to one of the course advisors.

OK you’ve finished the course you’ve gained your qualification, what next? The truth is finding work is not as difficult as you may think. Most trainees after leaving Access Training start by doing small jobs for friends, family and neighbours.  This will build your confidence and give you some indication of how long a job will take. Best of all you will be under no pressure from family to complete by a certain deadline.

Then there are construction “agencies” that employ people to work on various jobs. They’ll find you the work, but be prepared to work maybe one week here, two weeks there and so on. This is a great way of gaining experience quickly and you will be on a fixed hourly rate, usually around £12 per hour.

So now that you’ve gained both experience and confidence, it’s time to go on your own. This is where you can earn a lot more money – it’s not uncommon for a good tradesperson to earn between £600-800 per week. Keep your options open, if you completed a bricklaying course don’t think that you can only lay bricks. Bricklayers can usually lay patios, decorative work indoors, build archways and more. If you completed a plastering course, plasterers can usually fix coving up, lay screed floors etc. One very lucrative area from a plastering point of view is “Venitian” or “Polished” plastering. There is a niche in the market for this type of work, if you have good trowel skills you can learn this method relatively quickly, and the price for doing this work is roughly £60 per square meter. So the choice is yours – there is work about for good tradespeople, so if you feel you need a career change then go for it!

If you need more information contact Access Training Wales on 08003457492.

- Richard James

 

Although Part P Building regulations require a qualification to undertake extensive electrical work in your own home, minor tasks such as replacing damaged sockets or light switches can be done without having to notify your Local Building Authority Control Department. In this post we'll take you through a few simple steps to replace a plug socket or alternatively change a single one into a double.

Safety first

Before you start ANY sort of electrical work make sure the power is switched off at the main consumer unit or switch of the relevant circuit breaker and lock it if you can. Then make sure that the circuit is indeed dead using a socket tester. Make sure to also have protective gloves and safety goggles on you at all times.

Also take note that since 2006 the core colours inside electrical cables have changed. In new two-core-and-earth cables, the live/phase core is insulated in a brown sheath as opposed to a red one and the neatural core is now blue rather than black. If you are connecting old and new cables together, take extra care to make sure that the cores are attached by their corresponding colours.

What you will need:

  • Socket tester & socket template
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe and cable detector
  • Drill
  • Socket faceplate or new double socket
  • Wall plugs and screws
  • Mounting box
  • Green/Yellow pvc sleeving
To change a damaged socket:
Step 1: Confirm you have switched off the main power using your socket tester. Once sure unscrew the socket faceplate and pull it away from the wall. Keep the screws just in case the new ones don't fit.
Step 2: Loosen the terminal screws and release the cable cores. Should the insulation be heat damaged, cut back the cores and strip the ends. If the earth core is bare, cover it with the green/yellow sleeving.
Step 3: Connect the brown (or red) core(s) to the live terminal of the faceplate, the blue (black) ones to the neutral terminal and the earth core to the earth terminal. Tighten the screws fully and fit the new faceplate. When you have turned the power back on, use the socket tester again to check it is wired correctly

To change a single flush socket to a double:
Increasing the number of sockets in a room isn't as difficult as it might sound if you follow these simple steps...
Step 1: Isolate the circuit and then use the socket tester to make sure that it is dead. Unscrew the faceplate and disconnect the cables from the single socket mounting box.
Step 2: Knock out the middle section in the double box and pass the cables through. Mark where the screw holes are on the wall using a pencil, remove the box and drill.
Step 3: Screw the new box in place and connect the cables to the terminals. Fit the new faceplate and then test using the socket tester again once power has been restored.

Hopefully after reading this you'll feel confident enough to do these tasks yourself without having to pay for a professional electrician! However if you're interested in learning more about what electrical tasks you can perform at home with the right training, or alternatively hoping to gain qualifications to become an electrician - look no further than Access Training's range of bespoke electrical courses. From Part P to PAT Testing and wiring regulations to DIY, we offer something for everyone regardless of age, background or experience.

Contact Access Training on 0800 345 7492 for more information or arrange a visit of our training facilities.

If your home is looking a bit unloved, then a little TLC will go a long way. With so many people hit hard by the economic downturn, many homeowners are plumping for DIY renovations to their homes rather than buying new. Here is our guide to some of the most cost effective methods of sprucing up your home without breaking the bank.

A fresh lick of paint

It’s incredible how a simple task can make such a difference to the look and feel of your home. If your walls and doors are looking grimy, dowdy and dated, then give them a fresh lick of paint. It’s a simple job and even the most hapless DIY novice can’t go wrong, so there’s no need for professional assistance, which helps to keep the costs down. If you’re thinking of selling your house in the near future then neutral colours are the best way to go. If you’re staying put for the foreseeable future then go wild; what about a splash of colour or even some stencilling?

Declutter your clutter

If your preferred style is minimalist and airy then keep it that way. I know that two foot long china dog would look lovely in your front room, but be strong and walk away. If it’s already too late and your home is so chock-a-bloc with knick-knacks that you can hardly move, then take a big breath and get to work. And remember, one man’s tat is another man’s treasure, so put some of your better pieces on eBay and see how they go, after all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Have a look at some decorating courses

There are some great decorating courses in the UK for people of all ages and abilities – we should know, ours is one of the best! We will teach you the latest trends and techniques, giving you the skill you need to completely transform your home. And if you want to take it one step further and enrol on a decorating course as the first step in your new career, we can help you do that too.

For more information about decorating courses which will teach you everything you need to know, whatever level you wish to reach, give us a call here at Access Training on 0800 345 7492.